Lucky Peach

November 28th, 2011

Second issue of Lucky Peach hot off the presses!

Have you read this magazine? This second issue just arrived in my mailbox and I love it. The moment I heard that McSweeney’s was coming out with a food magazine I got a subscription. After the first two issues I can’t recommend Lucky Peach enough. I’m not the only one that loves it. This is the kind of food/drink magazine I’ve been dreaming of for a long time.

In Lucky Peach you won’t find page after page of fussy kitchen and food shots that require stylists and production teams and you won’t have to page through seemingly endless glossy ads until you get to the meat of the matter. There are paintings of past-its-prime blue cheese, recipe corrections composed in comics, how-to photos for killing and cleaning fish, and stickers! (The mock fruit stickers — you know these kinds of stickers but funny — are between page 112 and 113 in the second issue.) There’s cursing. There’s a haiku about corn with miso butter and bacon. There are honest and original stories with strong voices that you haven’t heard before that make you laugh, think and feel and want to cook and eat. It’s real, raw and it’s ripe for the picking. Go get yourself a Lucky Peach.


Yard Fresh Pt. 17

November 21st, 2011

Spicy minced elk over turmeric rice with slow cooked green beans.

We’ve been building a lot of fires in the wood stove and staying in more often in the evenings now that that weather has turned. I love it. We warm one part of the house with the wood stove and another with the oven and stovetop. Life is good. Here’s what we’ve been cooking and eating lately. Happy almost Thanksgiving!

Slow cooked green beans take two over homemade salsa rice with boiled/dressed beets.

I got our Concord grape vine from the RIP Recycled Garden Center (I think that was the name...) a couple years ago and this year was our first substantial harvest. We ate them all straight-up because they're so tasty as is.

The last batches of hot sauce and salsa of the season. Long gone now. One of my favorite summer and early fall eats.

Eggs and rice with the salsa and hot sauce from above. We've cooked a lot of rice with that salsa lately and it's really good.

Reuben with corned beef on sourdough (shhh, don't tell) with homemade spicy garlic lemon cuke pickles.

My first time growing carrots was a success! I planted these Nantes Sweets in late July and have kept them in the ground eating several at a time for weeks. Sweet, crunchy and delicious.

Roasted chicken thighs seasoned with smoky paprika, salt and pepper and brussels roasted in the pan juices. Quick. easy and super good.

Yard Fresh Pt. 16
Yard Fresh Pt. 15
Yard Fresh Pt. 14
Yard Fresh Pt. 13
Yard Fresh Pt. 12
Yard Fresh Pt. 11
Yard Fresh Pt. 10
Yard Fresh Pt. 9
Yard Fresh Pt. 8
Yard Fresh Pt. 7
Yard Fresh Pt. 6
Yard Fresh Pt. 5
Yard Fresh Pt. 4
Yard Fresh Pt. 3
Yard Fresh Pt. 2
Yard Fresh Pt. 1

Signed Copies of Food Lover’s Guide to Portland

November 14th, 2011

I'll write sweet nothings and send you some books.

Food Lover’s Guide to Portland
Custom message with signature?

Even though my book is available from all sorts of great sellers including Powell’s Books, New Seasons Market, Elephants Delicatessen, In Good Taste, Elliott Bay Book Company, Mirador Community Store, Alma Chocolate, Kenny & Zuke’s, House Spirits and Reading Frenzy I get more requests than usual around the holidays for signed copies. To remedy the situation I’ve added this magic little PayPal button above for folks who want signed copies of Food Lover’s Guide to Portland. You don’t need a PayPal account to buy books this way but you do need a credit card.

I think my book is a nice gift on its own (yes, a little biased) but I think it’s even better with a tasty treat or two from one of the many food and drink folks featured in it. I’m going to post 100 local pairings for the book between now and the end of December on Twitter if you’re into that sort of thing. For now, Food Lover’s Guide to Portland pairs nicely with…

Pickled herring and house-cured salame from Edelweiss Sausage & Delicatessen
A bottle of Eau de Vie of Douglas Fir or Pear-in-the-bottle brandy from Clear Creek Distillery
A Spella Caffe gift certificate
An Urban Cheesecraft DIY cheesemaking kit
Another local food book or two from Powell’s
Farmstead cheeses and charcuterie from Cheese Bar
Smoked seafood from Newman’s Fish Company in City Market
Custom Kinder eggs or chardons from Pix Patisserie


I’m taking care of the shipping on continental U.S. orders via media mail and there are discounts for multiple book orders. Media mail takes a few days to a week but you can also spring for priority mail for a bit more $. If you want even quicker shipping, more than three books, books to multiple addresses, or a chicken in a zebra costume please just drop me a line and we’ll figure it out.

From my shelf to yours...

Voodoo Vintners & Montinore Estate

November 7th, 2011

My friend Karen checking out the cow horn stuffed with *@#! at Montinore Estate.

In early September I was lucky enough to be invited to one of the Hardy Plant Society’s Kitchen Gardening Group outings. I’ve been to other events with this group and they’re great. You might remember this talk all about grapes that I went to last spring.

For September’s outing we met at Montinore Estate vineyard and winery just outside of Forest Grove. We waited in the vineyard parking lot — it was a beautiful day — until everyone arrived and then moved into the tasting room where we met Montinore owner and vintner Rudy Marchesi and his wife Susan Fichter. Lucky for us they took us on a tour of the 230+ acre vineyard that Rudy’s owned since 2005. (He owns 30+ additional acres at other area farms.) Here’s a great article in The Oregonian all about Rudy and Susan’s passion for food and drink.

Check out Katherine Cole’s book that came out this summer that features Montinore Estate — Voodoo Vintners: Oregon’s Astonishing Biodynamic Winegrowers — if you haven’t already. I wrote about Cole’s book and some of her upcoming book events and wine tastings in last week’s Willamette Week.

During the Montinore tour Rudy taught us all about biodynamic farming and it was inspiring. I worked on a biodynamic farm in Spain for several months in 1996 through WWOOF and it was a trip down memory lane for me listening to him describe and sometimes demonstrate various biodynamic practices.

On biodynamic farms cow horns, such as the one above, are packed every year with cow manure, buried and overwintered until the spring when they’re dug up and mixed with water in a vessel shaped like a pregnant woman’s belly. I got the job of stirring that shit so to speak and then applying it to the fields of the culinary herb farm that I worked on. Biodynamic practices are very unique and from my limited experience they seem to work.

Rudy Marchesi of Montinore Estate talking with the Hardy Plant Society's Kitchen Gardening Group about biodynamic farming.

The group taking in the scenery and learning the history of Montinore Estate.

Where water turns into wine at Montinore...

It wouldn't be a wine tour without a tasting in Montinore Estate's beautiful tasting room.

I learned a lot during this tour including:

The name Montinore comes from the original ranch owner who was from Montana before he moved to Oregon. Get it? Mont-in-Ore.

Because of all the moisture this growing season mold and mildew have been a constant struggle in vineyards. It’s been a challenging and expensive season.

Rudolf Steiner was a rad dude. He’s the grandfather of biodynamic agriculture as well as Waldorf education.

The reason Rudy got into biodynamic practices…phylloxera. An area of the vineyard was destroyed quickly by this pest so Rudy reevaluated growing practices and in 2001 (before he owned the vineyard) stopped all use of herbicides.

In 2003, Rudy took a biodynamic course in New York while still farming back east and in 2005 he bought Montinore Estate. In 2008 it was certified as biodynamic.

There are 25 or so biodynamic vineyards in Oregon but only seven are certified.

Hardy Plant Society Oregon

Montinore Estate
3663 SW Dilley Road
Forest Grove, Oregon
503.359.5012 ext 3
Open daily 11am-5pm

Buy Katherine Cole’s book Voodoo Vintners: Oregon’s Astonishing Biodynamic Winegrowers
Read my review of Voodoo Vintners in Willamette Week